A Mid-Year Check-in and Checkup for Your Business
Join Caterina in celebrating the 50th episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast with a mid-year checkup for your business! At the midway mark of the year, it is the time for you to reflect on what has happened during the first six months and what you want to upgrade, adjust, eliminate, or improve on for the second half. Listen to this special episode and download Caterina’s corresponding checklist to ensure the next six months of this year are your best ever!
Expand Your Fempire Podcast #50 Transcript
A Mid-Year Check-in and Checkup for Your Business
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:25] This is Caterina Rando and I am blissing to be with you for another episode of our Expand Your Fempire podcast. Guess what? It is our 50th episode. Now, normally when we do all of our podcast episodes, my intention is that they are evergreen. Meaning any time you listen to them, the topic is applicable to what’s going on with you in your business or your life right now.
[00:00:59] However, I’m breaking from that guiding principle for our 50th episode, because I want to talk with you about something that I would like to encourage you to reflect on right now as this episode comes out.
[00:01:15] And that is that we’re at the midway mark of the year. It’s the middle of the year. And while we started the year in the middle of a pandemic, we are beginning to be in the post pandemic lifestyle.
[00:01:34] Now also the post pandemic business style. How is your business going to shift? Adjust? Not just because we’re out of the middle of our pandemic also because it’s the middle of the year.
[00:01:49] And it’s time for you to reflect on what has happened the first six months of the year and what you want to upgrade, adjust, eliminate, improve for the second half.
[00:02:04] In this episode, we’re going to look at some of the different aspects of your business. We’re going to shine the spotlight on them. And here’s the other exciting thing, by the way. When you go to caterinarando.com/links, I have put there just for you an “Expand Your Fempire Mid-Year Business Check-in and Check-up.
[00:02:32] And I want to invite you to go to caterinarando.com/links and download that for yourself. Because you may be driving. Maybe you’re making dinner. You can’t take notes right now, and I want to support you to up-level your business. That’s why I’ve put together this mid-year check-in and check-up for you. Okay.
[00:02:57] First thing, sales.
[00:03:01] You know what I want to tell you? A lot of women have said to me That they don’t set sales goals because they don’t want to be disappointed. I totally get it. I don’t like to be disappointed either.
[00:03:17] I remember a time ago when my big compelling vision that I wanted was to have my own center. My own center because I was so sick of giving money to the hotels. You may have heard me say this. Anyway, it took me five years to get my center. And in that time I had two clients that opened their own centers in other areas. And of course, I was blissing for them, but it made me more and more frustrated. Where was my center? Where was my center?
[00:03:49] Here’s what I want you to know. The reason why we set goals is not only to get our goals, it’s to force us or support us to keep looking at “what else can I do to get my goal? How can I adjust?”
The reason why we set goals is not only to get our goals, it’s to force us or support us to keep looking at “what else can I do to get my goal? How can I adjust?” – Caterina Rando
[00:04:10] I want to let you know that sometimes it takes longer than we think it’s going to take to get our goal. That’s okay. As long as you keep at it. The thing about goals is you don’t just set them and let them go.
[00:04:28] You set them. You put together a plan to reach them. You review that plan every single day. Therefore, every day you can look at what else do I need to do? How else can I get there?”
[00:04:42] The idea is that you work your goals, you reflect on your goals. You look every day, how can I do better? Not just looking at how can I do better. Start to notice what are you not getting to? What do you intend to do, but it’s not happening?
[00:05:02] That’s a good indication for where you could use some support.
[00:05:07] And sales is a really great place for this, because you might want to talk to 20 people a week and you’re not even reaching out to 20 people a week. Well, maybe you could use some support- some email support, some phone support to do some of those reach- outs and book appointments for you, so that you do the important part, the part that only you can do, which is actually talking to people.
[00:05:38] The thing about sales that I really want to shine the spotlight on with you is that we have to manage our disappointment and recognize that the goal of everything that you want to do in your business is not just to do it. It’s to become masterful at it.
[00:05:58] How do you become masterful? Well, yes, you become masterful by doing it over and over.
[00:06:05] The thing is though that you become more masterful when you’re not only doing it over and over, you’re assessing, upgrading, improving, refining, adjusting what you’re doing over and over. So that not only you are getting better and better, the way you’re doing what you’re doing is getting more efficient and more effective.
[00:06:37] Here’s what I want to tell you. You know, one of the things that I’d like you to do at this midway mark of the year is to review the values by which you run your business.
[00:06:46] By the way we did a whole podcast on this a little while back, if you haven’t listened to the podcast about values, I want to encourage you to do that.
[00:06:56] I forgot one very important value when we were in there because it wasn’t top of mind. I’m gonna share that with you now, which is embracing philanthropy in your business.
[00:07:07] Philanthropy, community service, being community-minded, this is really, really important. And when we do our big events, our Fempire Summit, our Shero Summit, we always have a charity partner.
[00:07:21] We raise money for one of our four charity partners. By the way, if you have not looked at our charity partners, you can also do that on my website at caterinarando.com We support education for women and entrepreneurship training for women, and also for girls.
[00:07:45] I want you to take some time at this mid-year mark and review the values by which you run your business and ask yourself if the way your personally behaving every day, the way your team is behaving every day, the way you’re doing your thing, is that an accurate reflection of the values by which you run your business?
I want you to take some time at this mid-year mark and review the values by which you run your business and ask yourself if the way your personally behaving every day, the way your team is behaving every day, the way you’re doing your thing, is that an accurate reflection of the values by which you run your business? -Caterina Rando
[00:08:10] And do you have them plastered on the wall? And if I was to ask the people on your team what they are, could they tell me the values by which you run your business? And if not, there’s an opportunity for education there. Also though, I want you to reflect and see if there’s any upgrades or adjustments you want to make.
[00:08:37] Your business is your canvas. I want you to think of yourself like a world-class painter as an entrepreneur. Because you do what a painter does- you create from scratch.
[00:08:56] Your business is your canvas. Your values are the different hues of color that you put on that canvas.
[00:09:11] As an entrepreneur, I’m sure you embrace integrity. I’m sure you want to provide outstanding service. I’m sure you want to be a good communicator and value communication with your clients and your team. And there’s a lot more that you can listen to on the values episode.
[00:09:33] Here’s though the one that I absolutely have to mention that I feel is where a lot of entrepreneurs fall down. And that is with efficiency.
[00:09:47] Because our priority is service. We are so creative. We want to customize our service for each client. What’s going to take care of them and serve them? And we don’t often think about “how do we be more efficient?” Because more efficiency equals more profit.
[00:10:09] Now, why am I mentioning this here? Because as you do a mid-year review in your business, I want you to look at “are you being efficient with your sales process? Are you being efficient with your client care? Are you having checklists? Are you having software that you’re using that supporting efficiency in your business? Do you have standard operating times that you do the same thing every month or every quarter?”
[00:10:44] Because what that means is you made a decision once and therefore you decided to implement it. And now it’s happening with ease and nobody has to think about it because you made a decision and you’ve kept going with that decision.
[00:11:01] Like, for example, the first Friday of a new quarter, my fabulous person on my team and I meet and we go over the commissions for the last quarter. And within the week after that, the commission checks go out to anyone that has sent us referrals or any of our affiliate partners. That is standard operating procedure.
[00:11:26] When the year starts, guess what? Those appointments go on the calendar, those meetings for the whole year. We don’t have to think about it. We’re not going to forget about it. That’s a very efficient thing. And how you use your calendar is a big part of efficiency.
[00:11:43] Certain things happen on Mondays because my on-the-ground assistant is at my home office on Mondays. That’s standard operating procedure. Where in your business, can you make a decision once and have it happen for the rest of the year and into next year?
[00:12:03] Now, of course at the end of the year, you’re going to evaluate what you’re doing. I want you to think about that. I want you to run your mid-year review with a filter of efficiency. That’s going to support you..
[00:12:20] Now we can talk about sales all day. There are a few episodes in our podcasts specifically about sales. I want to encourage you to listen to those, to prime you for your mid-year review that we’re talking about right now, your mid-year check-in and checkup for your Fempire.
[00:12:42] Marketing is a place where a lot of people fall down in their business. Usually because as the CEO, you’re doing marketing activities, not recognizing or embracing that marketing is not your job.
[00:13:00]Let me tell you what’s your job. Speaking in the broadest sense of the word. You’re the spokesperson for your business. You’re the one in the videos most likely, or maybe you have someone, but you’re the one who’s doing speeches.
[00:13:14] Maybe you’re running Clubhouse rooms. You’re the face of your business, that’s speaking.
[00:13:23] Selling of course is your job. Unless you have a sales team. If you have a sales team, awesome. Let them do their thing. That’s great.
[00:13:31] Speaking, selling, serving your clients. Now maybe you have a team that helps you deliver service. Most likely you’re doing a lot of the servicing of your clients.
[00:13:41] That’s your job speaking, selling, serving, strategy. Of course, that’s your job. Strategy. It’s your company. You’re the decision-maker. You’re the planner. You want to be strategic. By the way, what I’m talking about right now are the “five pillars to expand your fempire.”
[00:13:58] And there’s another podcast episode on this speaking, selling, serving, strategy. And the last thing that’s your job is self-care.
[00:14:08] Now as you’re doing your mid-year check-in and check-up, I want to ask you about your self-care. Personally, I feel that sleep is the elixir of life. Self-talk, being your own best success coach is essential as a CEO. Having emotional support around your business. Having a coach or a counselor, not a regular strategic business coach, a life coach, or a counselor, or being a part of a support group.
[00:14:46] Because you know what? You don’t want to talk about your business too much with your partner. Yes, of course. You want to share with them, the challenge with your partners is sometimes they want to fix everything when you just want them to listen. They want to solve it because they love you. They want to fix it. I want you to have another source outside of your partner for emotional support. That is part of your self-care.
[00:15:14] Let’s talk more about your self-care. Of course, your diet, your exercise, your hydration, all of that’s important.
[00:15:23] You know what else is self-care? Sometimes you have to say no when you mean no. And the other thing is sometimes you want to simply reflect and I want you to start to pay attention to what doesn’t feel good.
[00:15:41] For example, I have a trip that has been scheduled for a long time. Business trip that has been scheduled. Not a client-related thing, an opportunity to go on a retreat with some amazing women and have some time for me.
[00:15:57] The thing is, I just wasn’t feeling good about going. You know why? Because it was smack dab during my vacation time, which I really want to unwind and not have to do any thinking about business unnecessarily. Of course, I love my business. I want it to come more natural. I don’t want to sit in a classroom when I’m supposed to be on vacation.
[00:16:25] And it just wasn’t sitting right with me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go. I just didn’t feel excited about it. And then I started to notice, “well, why am I not excited? I love these people. I love this place. I like to be there. Always have a good time.” Why wasn’t it feeling right? It wasn’t feeling right because of what I shared with you. And I have to give myself permission to be a “no” where I would normally be a “yes” simply because it didn’t feel right and I wasn’t excited about it.
[00:17:03] Reflection – what is not lighting you up anymore?
[00:17:07] I want you right now to take some time for reflection. What are you not excited about in your business and your life? And even though maybe you’ve been doing it for a long time.
[00:17:18] If it’s not still lighting you up, you can make a different decision. You can get support with it. You can delete it from your life.
If it’s not still lighting you up, you can make a different decision. You can get support with it. You can delete it from your life. -Caterina Rando
[00:17:31] I talked to one of my clients today and she’s involved in an organization, she’s involved in the leadership. It’s a volunteer organization and they have several meetings a week for this volunteer situation. And I was thinking to myself and I discussed with her, I said, “you know, is this really what you want to be doing?”
[00:17:55] Now it’s up to her to make that decision. I want you to take a moment to decide for you. What is going on in your life that maybe started as a little commitment, but the commitment has mushroomed? Or maybe what did you used to love that maybe you don’t love so much anymore? And guess what? This is self-care.
[00:18:19] At this midway mark of the year I want you to reflect on “where is your time going that maybe you don’t want it to go anymore?” And this is personal or business. What are you doing that is not lighting you up anymore? Because my friend, I want you to know that your business is supposed to be your bliss.
[00:18:47] Self-care we’ve just discussed. I also want to make sure you’re reflecting on these five pillars. Speaking, selling, serving, strategy and self- care and making sure that you are doing well on all of those five pillars. And I want you to look at them all for you in your life and see where you might need an upgrade.
[00:19:11] Because I want the second half of your business this year to be the better half of your business this year.
[00:19:23] Now we side-bared there. We were talking a little bit about marketing, and we sidebar because we started talking about the pillars. Here’s what I want you to know. Marketing is for marketing professionals. If you’re not a marketing professional, get a marketing professional on your team because marketing is often where people fall down.
[00:19:47] Marketing takes away from what is your job. Marketing and sales are not the same thing. Your job is to sell. Unless you have a sales force. If you’re doing all the marketing, you’re not having enough time for selling. Let me encourage you to reflect on that for your business.
[00:20:07] Let’s talk about operations. Now, operations are you effectively delivering your product or service consistently in the same way over and over. Client care falls under operations, equipment or facilities management falls under operations. Anything that’s about the infrastructure of your business falls under operations. The technology you use falls under operations, the software you use falls under operations.
[00:20:45] And I want you to ask yourself “in this area, is there anything you’re tolerating? Is there anything that you need to get rid of?” Also, by the way, this is a good time to do a inventory of all the technology you’re using, of everything you’re paying for every month. This gets a little bit into the finance part, but that’s okay.
[00:21:10] And are those invoices where they were when the year started? for example, I just looked at my bill, I won’t say what company it was, for internet service at my center in San Francisco. The bill is three times higher than when we signed up. And guess what? We haven’t used the internet in a year. I’m having my fabulous assistant look into that for me because this is an example of fees growing. And if you’re not watching, they’ll just keep growing.
[00:21:45] Very, very important that you take some time right now to review all of your things that you’re paying for on a monthly basis, that you may or may not be using.
[00:21:58] Also, it’s a great time to review are you using the processes and the checklists and everything you put in place at the beginning of the year? Has anything fallen off because it was new in the beginning of the year and you haven’t been as focused on it?
[00:22:16] One of the things we did this year, which I’m blissing about, is we made some decisions about when people join a particular program, our Thrive at Sales program, we send them a binder, we send them a pen, we send them a journal, we send them chocolates. That’s something we started this year because of the pandemic. Before we would give it to them when they came to class. We have a new, fun thing that we send out when people sign up for our retreats, because our retreats are not for several months after they sign up.
[00:22:49] Where could you use a new decision to serve your clients even better for the second half of the year? One of the things we started this year was sales blitzes, where three times a month I invite ladies to come join me in the zoom room and they work on their sales and we all do it together. Like a community working session, only we start by sharing what our sales goals are for those two hours. And then we report our celebrations and our results at the end. It’s very fun and it’s something I absolutely love and we’re going to keep going with it because at the mid-year I’ve assessed that it’s super working. And so now it’s standard operating procedure.
[00:23:40] We have been talking about maybe some things that you would consider not sexy, not exciting, maybe even a little bit boring.
[00:23:55] Banish the thought. Here’s the thing, efficiency is really exciting. Because it allows you to have more time freedom. It allows you to thrive more in your business, grow more your business. It allows you to not get frustrated cause everything’s working really well and moving along.
[00:24:19] Your business is dynamic. There’s always new challenges. There’s always new projects. And you know what? Those projects, the new thing is always the most exciting thing.
[00:24:31]When we have efficiency in how we’re running our business, when we have decisions that we make once and we carry them forward, when we have checklists, when we have processes, when we have standard operating procedures and times on our calendar that are rinse and repeat for tasks that we do over and over, all of that frees us up to be more creative because we’re not having to put out the fire du jour.
[00:25:06] I remember when I first started my business and I didn’t know as much about business, there was always lots of fires to put out because I wasn’t as good at the planning. I wasn’t as good at the calendaring. I wasn’t as good at communicating to my team what had to happen.
[00:25:27] I wasn’t as good at managing a team. Now. I’m not saying I’m the queen of that. I feel like I have room to grow on that. Because there’s always another level of mastery even at those things you consider yourself masterful at.
[00:25:46] This discussion that we’re having today is an opportunity for you to get even more masterful at being the CEO of your amazing business.
[00:25:58] Okay. That was a pause to remind you that even though it’s not always sexy, this check-in stuff, it can be very exciting because it’s going to free you up for more time freedom, more profitability, more time for your new exciting projects. And that my friend is super sexy. Bing bing!
…even though it’s not always sexy, this check-in stuff, it can be very exciting because it’s going to free you up for more time freedom, more profitability, more time for your new exciting projects. And that, my friend, is super sexy. Bing bing! -Caterina Rando
[00:26:19] Okay. Let’s keep our discussion going.
[00:26:21] So we’ve talked about sales. We’ve talked about marketing. We’ve talked about operations. Let’s shine the spotlight a little bit on finance.
[00:26:29] Now, I make a distinction between finance and sales because sales, of course, is revenue in the door. Finance is how you manage your business. It is the comparison and the profit and loss of what comes in and what goes out and what stays in. It’s the decisions that you make about your money in business. All fall under the finance umbrella.
[00:26:57] I want to make sure that you have a bookkeeper that you trust and that you can communicate well with, that you meet with regularly. And when I say regularly, I mean monthly. And then at the end of every quarter, you have a longer meeting with them. And of course you review your chart of accounts every year you upgrade.
[00:27:19] And then you also have a tax professional that you work with. Somebody that specializes in maybe your particular industry, or at least in small businesses. And that you talk about and you’re educated by them about what is tax deductible? And what’s not. What you can run through your business and what you can not.
[00:27:41] And that one of these professionals is paying any taxes that you have in your business quarterly. Now, if it’s very small, you could wait and do it annually but somebody has their attention on making sure that your business is paying all the taxes it needs to pay when it needs to pay them.
[00:28:04] Also there’s a book that we have started to talk about in my client community, which is Profit First by Mike and his last name starts with an M, but it’s hard to pronounce. Profit First is a book that you may want to look at because the author has a lot of ideas for you that I think you will find very helpful.
[00:28:27] One of them is that he says to put your money for taxes in a separate account, and to take a little bit out every month to put in that account. I am a big advocate for this because when somebody says to me, which I’ve heard recently more than a few times so it’s on the top of my mind when somebody says to me, ” oh my gosh! I just got a huge tax bill!” I think to myself,” You’ve been in business a long time. You know Uncle Sam always wants his share. It’s not like a new thing.”
[00:29:00] Well that’s because that person was not planning for taxes. They know they’re coming, but they don’t do any planning for them.
[00:29:07] Remember your business is supposed to be your bliss. This is you being proactive versus reactive in your business. Taking a little bit out every month to give to Uncle Sam and putting it in a separate account so when tax time comes, the money is there and it’s available to you.
[00:29:29] The other thing that you may want to do is have a separate account for philanthropy. Because if you know you give away money every year, maybe you want to make that a budget item and put a little bit every month towards that as a separate account. Up to you.
[00:29:44] There’s more. He talks about more in this book. I definitely like the idea of having different accounts for different things, so that you as the business owner are not ever feeling like, oh my gosh, I just depleted my bank account because I had this tax bill or this expense or whatever it is that comes up.
[00:30:05] Also, let’s make sure that you’re paying yourself. That you have a monthly automatic withdrawal that’s going from your business account to your personal account to pay you.
[00:30:19] Because running your business without paying yourself is something that people do sometimes in the beginning. And in the beginning, don’t do it. Pay yourself at least a little bit, and then have it get bigger and bigger as your company grows. Make sure you’re paying yourself every month.
[00:30:42] I have a lifetime supply of more things to say to you about finance. I’m going to mention a couple more one is that you want to have financial surplus in your business. You want to have a great relationship with your banker. You want to get a line of credit from your bank. If you don’t have a personal relationship with your banker, get a new bank. Look at community banks. Look at credit unions. These are very friendly, many of them towards small business.
[00:31:12] And if your credit is not excellent, put attention on that too. Because in business you want to have excellent credit in case you, at some point need to borrow money, that’s going to support you.
[00:31:24] Okay. These are all things that I want you to check in about with your business for this middle point in the year. Before we wrap up this discussion, and of course we can have all day seminar on this, I want to give you some nuggets to take away and get started, and don’t forget to go look at caterinarando.com/links to get your “Fempire mid-year check-in and check-up checklist.” Because that is going to support you in taking what we’ve discussed and really applying it to your business.
[00:32:06] Here’s the other thing I want to say to you. What we’ve discussed so far is different things to do different things to look at. I want to ask you a very important question. As we move forward, and remember we want the second half to be the better half of the year, my question to you is how do you want to be different?
[00:32:27] How do you want to be better the second half of the year? I’ll tell you I’m going to bliss even more in my business. I want to have more time freedom.
[00:32:39] These are not only intentions, I’m making them goals. When you have a goal, you have a plan to support that goal. For me, blissing in my business, looks like creating more support, creating more support with sales, creating more support with marketing, creating more support in the delivery of our amazing service to our clients.
[00:33:01] It also looks like me holding the line to my criteria of excellent service from all of our vendors and all of our team members. Because when I know that my clients are getting outstanding care from everyone on my team that makes me bliss. When my vendors are on top of it, “hey, Caterina, we’ll get that to you right away.” Bing, bing that makes me bliss.
[00:33:33] What could make you bliss more in your business between now and the end of the day? What is it that you’re doing that is impacting how you’re being? What I mean by that is what frustrates you, what stresses you out? Let’s get rid of it so that you can bliss more.
[00:33:53] We talked about self-care. Is there any self-care related decisions or activities that are going to support you to love your business more because you’re taking better care of yourself. These are all things I want you to think about, because I want you to feel every day that your business is your bliss.
[00:34:15] I want you to be able to bring 100% of the amazing woman you are to being yourself and doing your thing and serving your people. And at the same time, massively monetizing your mastery. Because financial surplus creates ease. Financial surplus creates peace of mind. Financial surplus creates more bliss in your business.
[00:34:40] Okay, my friend, I have a lifetime supply of more super tips, insights to share with you. We’ll have to save it for another day.
[00:34:49] I want to remind you. We have an amazing Facebook group. Please come join us, ” Thriving Women in Business” group. We have an awesome club on Clubhouse, “Thriving Women in Biz” club. Every Friday night we have a week wrap up and win sharing and wisdom sharing on Clubhouse, come and join us. We have other rooms on Clubhouse around sales, speaking, scaling, and other hot topics. Would love to get to know you.
[00:35:18] And one of the things that I do once or twice a month is I always host a free workshop. You’re invited as my guest. I would love to see your smile on the screen. I’d love to get to know you and have you step into our amazing Thriving Women in Business Community. Because a rising woman lifts all the women around her and you are a rising woman.
[00:35:47] You are also the queen of your Fempire. And I hope that you will take what we’ve talked about today. You will go get our “Expand Your Fempire mid-year check-in and checkup checklist” so that you can bliss more in your business, love your life more, and of course, keep uplifting lives like you’re already doing.
[00:36:11] Thank you, my friend. Can’t wait to be with you again. Sending you some love and connect with myself and my team so that we can support you to expand your Fempire and thrive even more. Bing, bing, bing!
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.